.
Exercise

Wahoo!

Feeling much better since this morning, when I made my last post. I was in a grumpy funk after tossing and turning all night for 3 hours. I ended up getting in a 5 hour snooze, even slapping the alarm off when it went off around noon. What eventually woke me up was the happy chirping and rustling of a flock of birds outside my window as they rooted around in the leaves for bugs and grubs. With the sleep I caught up on and their happy oblivious cheerfulness, I was back on track.

Went for my walk, did my requisite 4 miles total. My knees were still a little tender feeling, and I was ginger with them at the start and not really enjoying myself. Still, I ended up pushing past my usual 1/2 mile jog and brought my jog up to 4/5 of a mile. I’m pleased! Despite the knees, my fitness is getting a lot better, not so red faced and breathless. I’m really chuffed about this. Not a month ago I was really struggling to make that distance and would end up gasping. Now it’s relatively easy peasy. Now, if I can just get my knees to relax and I can run without looking a little lame (I’m pretty sure I run awkwardly), I’ll be set.

I feel like a million bucks after my walks. I come home, open up the house, do my chores, have a snack and just chill. It’s truly therapeutic for me to get out and spend some quality Me Time with myself, away from all the other distractions in my life.

I think this is one aspect that maybe people don’t understand about me. I’m, by nature, an introvert. I’m rather quiet and reserved, though anybody who knows me well knows I have a cheeky nature; I’m chatty at times, a goofball and I truly do love my family and friends. I just tend to be the one sitting back in the conversation and smiling, nodding, and listening. I’m not being unsociable, I’m just being me and being part of a group the way I know how.

Still, there are times when I just want to be alone. I enjoy my own company, I don’t feel the need seek out the company of others all the time. I grew up as an only child until my teens, then I moved out of the house at 16. I’m adept at amusing myself and being comfortable in my own presence.

When it comes to this, though, it’s a need for me to be alone. Though I do enjoy the odd walk with some company, chatting and being sociable, I view those times as casual and ‘for fun’. Sort of like going out to the mall and browsing, window shopping. I have a good time doing that, as a leisurely thing. When I’m out for my daily routine exercise, though, I’m on a mission. I have a goal set, a pace to maintain. I just grab my water bottle, plug in my iPod and tune out. There’s only me and my thoughts. Nobody else to distract me, just me myself and I.

It can be tough at times, since I can’t rely on anybody but myself to get motivated. There’s nobody else egging me on. Yet, I still seem to have the drive for myself to get out there and do it.

It’s not easy, though. I’ve been reluctant to leave the house and get started for a number of reasons – I’m tired, there’s a TV show episode I want to watch, I’ve got quests to do, I’m reading a really good blog or book.

The first mile or so is when I exorcise all those things out. My mind is still back at home, focusing on what I have going on back there, and what I need to do. I’m thinking of my chores, the hubby, what’s for dinner, about going back to bed. That first mile is the hardest because I’m not focused on the task at hand – the walking – I just want to be at home and doing something else.

The second becomes easier. My mind starts to wander, I start sinking into the music more, and I get a spring in my step. This mile tends to be where the dull ache in my joints begins to subside.

The third mile is my favorite. By this point I’ve hit the halfway mark, and I’m feeling good. The weight of everything else is off of my shoulders, and I’m mouthing along to my music or staring up at the sky in wonder. I love to see the jets flying over head, or the buzzards circling, or watch the geese waddle by the lake. I feast my eyes on mundane daily things, let my thoughts wander, and my feet just follow the path without thought. This is when time tends to stop moving, and I lose myself in the moment and just have a great time.

The fourth mile is like my victory lap. I’m feeling good, my heartrate is solid and my knees are (hopefully) feeling better. I’m on my way home. All the distractions from home are well and truly gone, and I’ve enjoyed my time out for what it is – a beautiful walk under a bright blue sky, soaking up the sun.

By the time I get home, I feel great. I’ve accomplished what I wanted to do, my legs feel good, I’ve worked up an appetite and I can sail in on the good feelings and head inside to vegetate and pass the rest of my day as I see fit, because I’ve accomplished the day’s goal.

I think my family notices the difference, too. I’m still relatively quiet, but I’m not nearly so exhausted or introverted as I used to. Certainly, I think Boo has seen the change. My moodiness has lessened – even when it’s that time of month! – and I’m more laid back. As long as I get my workout in, I’m feeling good and it shows. It’s certainly helped smooth our home life, without me being crabby from being cooped up all day and feeling crappy.

Ah well, enough rambling. I just finished a big bowl of fresh vegetables – tomatoes, cucumbers, celery and carrots – with some dressing, so I’m going to top it off with a cup of green tea and some light reading. More to come later.

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